What if Wednesday: Watercolor Circles and Spring

What if I create something using watercolor paint and circles to represent the joy of Spring?

I was inspired today by Wassily Kandisky’s color studies. I’ve been trying to tap into my inner artist and explore more abstract art, so why not start with an amazing abstract artist. This video shows a unique representation of his famous colored circles, as they are born, grow and come to life. I loved this view of it, deconstructed, because I think it helps a viewer to see that art is a process, and a journey. When we see a finished piece of art, it can be difficult to recreate that journey for ourselves.

So I wanted to play with some circles. I don’t own any professional artist watercolors (yet ;0), so I borrowed my daughter’s 8 color set of Crayola. I started out copying the circles within squares, blending, layering, and playing with arrangement in grid or freeform.

(c) 2014 Amanda Balough

(c) 2014 Amanda Balough

(c) 2014 Amanda Balough

(c) 2014 Amanda Balough

(c) 2014 Amanda Balough

(c) 2014 Amanda Balough

I liked some of the effects I was seeing, but wanted more life in my final piece, and something to honor the return of Spring. The circles alone were not enough. I thought immediately of fields of flowers and buds on trees, and decided to use these circles to show the buds growing. This is my first try to get a composition and some soft edges. This became my initial sketch essentially. I often sketch in the medium I plan to use instead of using pencil, as it gives me more of an idea of what my final piece could become. It then acts as a guide, a study, and an experimental playground.

(c) 2014 Amanda Balough

(c) 2014 Amanda Balough

I was getting excited now, as I could see what I wanted and now had a plan. I wanted to make a scene full of life and activity. And color. Spring is an explosion of color in our previously dull Winter world. I used the same layout, but added swirly, viny branches to make my tree softer and more active. I let the paint choose its own path with some wet in wet technique, and then added a few details sparingly to crisp up my lines. Here is my final piece from today. Maybe one day I’ll revisit this and add a few more layers, maybe some rolling hills, maybe some clouds, some more definition. But for today, this makes me happy. And it also makes me want to buy some better paint and learn more about watercolor techniques.

(c) 2014 Amanda Balough

(c) 2014 Amanda Balough

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4 thoughts on “What if Wednesday: Watercolor Circles and Spring

  1. Kandinsky is one of my favorite artists too! I love the vibrancy of spring that you have captured. I really like the second one – it speaks to me of energetic wind, which is a common part of Colorado springs, as well as the lovely colors you’ve used.

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